The Cochin Hospital site has a longstanding tradition of experimental, epidemiological, and clinical research dedicated to diseases of mother and child. From 2012 to 2017, DHU Risks in Pregnancy improved the structuring of existing collaborations and extended them to other teams, particularly collaborations on infectious and inflammatory diseases, perinatal pharmacology, and assessment of hardship and its consequences.

Armed with this experience, FHU PREMA focuses on two lines of research and 8 projects, and on cross-sectional projects concerning prematurity, and aspires to develop new care, research, and teaching tools.

Read more about the projects

Specificities of research on prematurity

  • Pregnant women and newborns are a major public health issue.
  • By its very nature, prematurity concerns the pregnant woman, fetus, newborn, and family. The research is therefore multidisciplinary and embraces medical (obstetrics, pediatrics, reproduction) and scientific (clinical laboratory science, epidemiology, social and even physical sciences, and biostatistics) disciplines.
  • The bulk of the Cochin Hospital maternity department’s work relates to care during labor and birth. Usually there are no complications, albeit depending on population factors. Epidemiology contributes greatly to the field of perinatal care. Researchers in the 3 areas (maternal morbidity, prematurity, and social inequality) of EPOPé [1], the largest epidemiology department in France devoted to the study of the diseases of mother and child, have joined FHU PREMA.
  • At FHU PREMA, the epidemiology and clinical laboratory science unit, MERIT [2], is dedicated to maternal and perinatal health in resource-limited countries, and collaborates with the Clinical Research Institute of Benin (IRCB).
  • The implementation of clinical trials requires a good understanding of how maternal and neonatal issues are intertwined. FHU PREMA relies upon the know-how acquired over many years by facilities that provide support to specific clinical research: the Mother-Child Clinical Investigation Center at the Cochin and Necker Hospitals, the Cochin Hospital-Institut Pasteur Vaccine Research Center, the IRCB, and the National Reference Center for Streptococci.
  • Industry is little involved in perinatal health, yet the needs are immense. The ethical and organizational problems associated with clinical trials in pregnant women and newborns limit pharmaceutical industry involvement in the development of tests or of treatments in this at-risk population.
  • The study of new drugs for pregnant women and of their transplacental passage requires the development of specific techniques to analyze their effects, because of ethical and access difficulties.

Lastly, in perinatal health as in other fields, close collaboration between perinatal care teams and researchers defines relevant questions encountered in clinical practice and allows quick assembly of patient cohorts.

[1] Epidémiologie Périnatale, Obstétrique, Pédiatrique

[2] Mère et Enfant face au Risque Infectieux en milieu Tropical